• Category Archives Warmachine
  • What’s on your wishlist?

    Most think it can be hard to shop for gamer pals, but in truth, it’s not as difficult as it seems. Worried about gifting a model for the wrong faction? Congratulations, you’ve just provided inspiration to for a whole new army! Worried about gifting a duplicate? Truth be told, the percentage of models that can’t be used in multiples is very low, and there’s always the chance to convert a model. What about roleplaying resources? Sure, no-one needs two Dungeon Masters Guides, but there’s always something missing from their library that can be identified with very minimal research. Worst comes to worst, have you -ever- heard a roleplayer say they have too many dice? Today I thought we’d drop some hints for shoppers, or last minute additions to your wishlists

    Miniature Games

    Everyone’s well aware of Games Workshop’s Start Collecting boxes. Almost every faction in Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40K has a Start Collecting box available. They’re all excellent value, and they pretty much all have kids that can be built with multiple options, so there’s very little fear of duplication.

    If you’re looking for something a little more affordable though, that can welcome a new player to miniature gaming? Privateer has you covered.

    G.U.A.R.D. for Monsterpocalypse

    Warmachine/Hordes starters provide everything you need to gets started, except a table and an opponent. Each has a complete rulebook and a selection of curated models that are suitable for learners, but that will still provide fun play for veterans. Suitable for the Fantasy/Steampunk fan.

    Monsterpocalypse starters follow the same philosophy but aimed at those who really enjoyed Godzilla or Pacific Rim. Will you level the city and crush the puny humans, or will you save mankind from monstrous invaders? Either way, you get to slam your opponents into building and stomp their puny tanks. Good times.

    If you’re a sci-fi junkie, Warcaster starters are the newest kids on the block but still pack a punch with plenty of pew-pew in a distant galaxy. Player communities are developing and the feedback on this game is positive and an exciting opportunity for someone looking for a dynamic new venture.

    Roleplaying Games

    Tales From The Loop

    Dungeons & Dragons is the biggest name in town, and there’s a world of supplements and resources available. From the Starter Set for someone who’s never played before, to the Players Handbook for someone keen to take their first steps into a campaign, to Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything – the very newest resource for players and DM’s alike.

    If you’re looking for a different roleplaying experience, the options are all out there – you could pre-order the Dune RPG for hardcore sci-fi fans, combat nazis and elder things with Achtung! Cthulhu, or sink your teeth into the award-winning Tales From The Loop for fans of Stranger Things.

    Amethyst d20 from Norse Foundry

    Not looking to commit to a whole new campaign, but think a one-off would be good times? Steamforged’s Epic Encounters are self-contained adventures that can also be worked into an existing campaign.

    If you’re not looking for a new game, dice are absolutely a thing. Stunning dice in wood, stone and metal are available from Dogmight, Elderwood Academy, Dice Envy and Norse Foundry. If you’re looking for dice for an LGBTQ+ gamer, Heartbeat has you covered.

    Adventurers & Adversaries offers modular miniatures, and both Heroforge and Eldritch Foundry allow for customizable model designs that you can then have printed or print yourself.

    Subscriptions

    Brush Wielders Union

    Subscription boxes are all the rage nowadays for a variety of industries, and gaming hasn’t been overlooked. Privateer Press offers two different monthly subscription lines – one for Warmachine/Hordes and the other for Legend of the Five Rings – over at Mini-Crate. Dungeon In A Box, RPG Crate and Dungeon Crate all cater to Dungeons & Dragons fans, and there’s even dice subscription services like Libris Arcana.

    Additionally you could look into a subscription to D&D Beyond, perhaps a membership in a subscription-based community like the Brush Wielders Union, or even hook them up with a link to a favored author’s Patreon so that they can get sneak peeks at upcoming works.

    The worlds inhabited by tabletop gamers can be dizzying and confusing for those on the outside, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be navigated with a little assistance. I wish everyone the best in navigating the coming weeks as we close out 2020. We may be isolating for the good of the community, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to get our hobby on, or to help end encourage the gamers in our lives to do the same.

     


  • Jolabokaflod

    Everyone celebrates the holiday season differently. From family gatherings with a big meal to taking off for sunnier climes, from going skiing to hitting the beach, from midnight mass to spinning a dreidel, different cultures and difference traditions can make the season marvelous. As we go rapidly approach the holidays under the shadow of a global pandemic the holidays are going to look very different for a lot of families, and many of us are looking for alternative ways to mark the holidays that will allow us to do something special without putting ourselves or those we love at unnecessary risk. Enter: Jolabokaflod.

    With thanks to Magnificatz for the graphic, Jolabokaflod is an Icelandic Christmas Eve tradition where you gift books (never a bad thing), and spend your Christmas Eve with a few morsels of chocolate and a new tale. It may not be the most social of traditions, but in an environment where we’re trying to avoid gatherings, this may be the perfect time to start participating in Jolabokaflod. Encouraging people to enjoy the written word is never a bad thing, and who knows what worlds of adventure await you hidden amidst the pages.

    With that in mind, some suggestions for your consideration.

    Skull Island Expeditions was Privateer Press’ e-book adventure, and while the dedicated site may no longer be available, the tales of the Iron Kingdoms are still available through DriveThruRPG. Whether you’re a fan or Warmachine or Hordes, there are plenty of texts to choose from. Personal favourites include Howard Tayler’s Extraordinary Zoology, Dave Gross’ Dark Convergence, Chris A. Jackson’s Watery Graves, Larry Correia’s Into The Storm, and several of the short story anthologies with tales by Doug Seacat, Aeryn Rudel, Orrin Grey, and a host of other authors.

    Games Workshop’s Black Library continues to spit out books at a borderline alarming rate, filling the lore of their assorted universes with books, e-books and audiobooks. Whether you’re into Warhammer 40K or Age of Sigmar, Necromunda or Blood Bowl, you may find something of interest. This year they’ve opened up the Warhammer Crime and Warhammer Horror imprints, including the classic Drachenfels, written in the 80’s by Kim Newman – one of the first game-related novels I ever read as a nascent nerd, donchaknow. The Siege of Terra also continues in their cataloguing of the events of the Horus Heresy, the defining conflict of the Warhammer 40K setting.

    If you ever ask me for a book recommendation and I don’t reference Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld at some point, I may be trying to subtly let you know that I’ve been kidnapped or something. There are 41 canon Discworld novels, written over 32 years. The earliest parody fantasy tropes and literature, while later books satirize elements of present day life and society. Wyrd Sisters, for example, parodies Macbeth , while Monstrous Regiment cocks an eyebrow at war, propoganda, and gender roles. Most recently I reread Unseen Academicals, which is – on the surface – a tale about the citizen of Ankh Morpork formalizing a soccer (nee football) league, but along the way has something to say about at inclusion vs exclusion, nature vs nurture, the link between ignorance and racism. All in a fantasy setting with a smattering of both Romeo & Juliet and Cinderella. There are so many great books in the series that where to start can be a much bigger question than it would first seem, but there are Reading Order lists out there and I’d be happy to help point anyone in the right direction.

    The gift of a book can amazing. It can be from an author you know the recipient loves, or it can be an opportunity to share one of your own favorite authors. If you want to go non-fiction, it can be a stepping stone into a new hobby or field of interest, or even a promise of an activity that you’ll share with the recipient once we’re on the other side of the pandemic, such as with a new RPG book (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything just released for Dungeons & Dragons), a new sourcebook for tabletop gaming (The Broken Realms event for Age of Sigmar has started with Morathi), or perhaps something to fuel the creative side (Such as Angel Giraldez’s Masterclass). Maybe this year, since many of us can’t gather with our loved ones, the gift of reading may provide some comfort, should we take a tip from Iceland.


  • Thought processes: Starting a new faction

    When starting out a new faction, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with options. When playing a faction you’ve known and loved for ages, it’s less common but still easy to get overwhelmed with options. One of the best things Privateer Press ever did with Warmachine & Hordes was to introduce the concept of theme forces. In MkII, these allowed you to build thematic armies based around a particular Warcaster or Warlock, limited to model choices that fit with the leading character or a point in their fictional history,  but with additional perks and benefits to balance out the loss of competitive versatility.

    In MkIII the concept changed to align with the subtypes of each faction, opening up a lot more versatility through Warcaster/Warlock choice. For example, Cygnar’s four in-faction themes are Heavy Metal (Warjacks), Storm Division (Lightning-centric), Sons of the Tempest (Gun Mages) and Gravediggers (Trenchers). Circle Orboros’ themes are Devourer’s Host (Tharn), Bones of Orboros (Wolds), Wild Hunt (Wolf Sworn) and Secret Masters (Druids). These allow players both new and old to make purchases, build their collections, and create lists using models that will thematically work together, helping combat some of the potential analysis paralysis, and you can easily just choose a concept that you really like and build an entire army around it, with the theme benefits actively rewarding you for your choices.

    Basically, it’s a winning concept, so it’s no surprise that other companies have their own incarnations.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20593


  • WMH November Update: Burn Notice

    While COVID may have many of us staying away from tabletop around the tabletops (depending on local gathering restrictions and the contents of your bubble/pod), make no mistake: We still sit around thinking about how to fine tune our lists, searching for new combinations, and otherwise seeking the road to victory for the day when we can once more push army mans around the table and fling dice. Last week Privateer Press dropped the November Update for Warmachine and Hordes, codifying the results of the Trollblood CID and updating a number of other models. Players from the Kriels are no doubt wrapping their brains around the changes to the Trollkin, but anyone who’s spent any real time around the Lost Hemisphere knows that the Protectorate’s where I call my home, so there was one model update in particular that I’ve been staring at.

    One of my favorite burny boys has received an update, and is ready to set the world ablaze…

    Malekus the Burning Truth

    Gain the Divine Passages ability and sub-menu

    Divine Passages – Once per turn at the start of this model’s activation, it can use one of the following effects:

    Fable of Ash – While within this model’s control range, friendly Faction warrior models gain Ashen Veil. Fable of Ash lasts for one round.

    Hymn of Might – This model can cast one spell this turn without spending focus.

    Verse of Cinders – Friendly Faction warjacks activating in this model’s control range gain Blazing Wrath. Verse of Cinders lasts for one turn. (A model with Blazing Wrath can charge enemy models suffering the Fire continuous effect without spending focus.)

    • Remove Immolation spell
    • Gain Brand of Fire spell

    Developer’s Notes:  Malekus was missing a bit of versatility in the options available to a player each activation. We specifically were looking for a way to increase player agency when running Malekus and also to increase his fire delivery methods. His new Divine Passages offer a set of powerful and interesting options for a player to choose from each turn, while swapping Immolation for Brand of Fire (which can potentially be cast for free each turn) means Malekus has a bit more control over his fire effect allocation.

    Much of Malekus remains unchanged, but adding in the Divine Passages plays into the same concept exemplified by the Choir of Menoth – the ability to manifest divine magic effects through hymns and prayers to Menoth. In Malekus’ case, we now know why he’s holding aloft his text. We already know from his backstory that Malekus isn’t possessed of a shrewd intellect like our boy Vindictus, so he clearly has trouble remembering all the words. Hence, the book.

    He still has Ashen Veil, he still has Scourge for knockdown, Banishing Ward for protection or to hinder enemy buffs, Ignite for an attack buff and potential fire source, Open Fire for additional attacks (more Vanquisher pie plates?).

    Brand of Fire adds a new way to toss fire about the board as a RNG10 POW14 spell, setting the target and d3 nearby enemy models on fire. Given Malekus’ fondness of warjacks, a FOC3 spell might not see a lot of play, but – BUT! – thanks to his new passages, if he opts for the Hymn of Might he can cast it for free. Given that he can subsequently use the Verse of Cinders to let his warjacks charge the now-burning enemies for free, it lends some significant mid-late game focus efficiency.

    The other thing to be mindful of is that this also plays into his feat, Raging Inferno. The more things that you’ve managed to set ablaze, the more mileage you’ll get out of the feat, with each burning model taking an additional dice of damage on their fire damage rolls, and those same fire rolls not expiring in Malekus’ control area.

    Malekus may be a battlebox model, but Privateer has always impressed me with their dedication to keeping their starter models relevant, not just something you can use to learn the game and then shelve as you move on to more complicated, difficult models. High Exemplar Kreoss remained in my play roster for years after I’d adopted Amon Ad Raza as my MkII main, and Malekus continues to be a part of my plans. The Flameguard may not be my favourite subsect of the Protectorate’s military, but Malekus is putting the rest of the Iron Kingdoms on notice. On Burn Notice. (See what I did there? I kill me…)

     


  • WMH: I miss the old expansion books

    Today’s online preview from GW showcased the upcoming codexes to support the 9th edition Indomitus box. New Necron codex, new Space Marine codex. At the end of the stream they previewed the next four codexes/supplements coming out before the end of the year, and … it’s marines, marines, marines and marines. Blood Angels, Deathwatch and Space Wolves will be getting a codex supplement, and the Death Guard will be getting a codex.

    As someone with designs on playing Flesh Tearers, the Blood Angels codex supplement is very welcome, but I can’t help but feel for the Ork, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Tau and Tyranid players. Genestealer Cults are (by comparison) a newer entry to the field, but some of these factions haven’t received new models for so many years it’s borderline farcical. Space Marines are GW’s golden boys, sure, and a huge part of their revenue, but when you’ve got a game that showcases multiple factions as options, to have some of those options languishing without updates or reinforcements for long – I’m just so disappointed for fans of those factions.

    This is part of why I loved Privateer Press’ old expansion model so much.

    Privateer would alternate between a Warmachine Cycle and a Hordes Cycle, and each cycle would produce a single expansion book. That book would provide each faction for the currently cycling game with at least one new warlock/warcaster, a couple of wabeasts/warjacks, and some new units and solos. Some expansions would introduce a new model type, such as Battle Engines or huge based models – Colossalsand Gargantuans were both expansion book titles.

    The value of this was that, at least once every year or so, the storyline would advance, every faction would get new models, and the game could functionally be rebalanced taking into account the competitive meta without needing to produce an enormous FAQ, without needing to ban or restrict models. If one faction was proving particularly strong, in the next expansion you could reasonably expect the other factions to get some counterbalancing new releases.

    In the end no-one was left twisting in the wind, having no idea if or when their beloved faction would be receiving some attention from the powers that be.

    The move away from print books at Privateer hit a lot of us hard, and while the CID’s are a very interesting experience as we get to kick tires and provide feedback and work to shape the future of our factions, I think something was lost in terms of delivering the narrative of the Iron Kingdoms, and in providing the -entire- playerbase, regardless of faction, with a sense that none of us were being neglected or forgotten as the future of the game was mapped out.

    Soon we’ll be seeing the kickstarter for the 5e compatible Iron Kingdoms and we’ll have our first in-depth look at the Iron Kingdoms after the Infernal invasion. Have kingdoms fallen? Did Kreoss ever find Durst? What’s the current going rate for a Blockader from the foundries in Corvis?

    As someone hungry for backstory I’m hanging out for Requiem, but I recognize that times change and the way Privateer delivers new backstory and models has changed – Nostalgic as I may be for years past, I’m looking forward to the Trollbloods CID, and the chance to set them all on fire with Feora4 once all this is over.


  • Riot Quest: Black Bella, Duchess of Dread

    As we continue to shelter in the Gdaycave, I continue to slowly work through the Silver Mountain that shames me for my lack of painting speed. I picked up Black Bella, Duchess of Dread, at Gencon 2019, one of the Riot Quest heroes that was available for purchase, and it wasn’t long before she found herself on the painting table, but for lack of a better term I stalled.

    The studio scheme for Black Bella is white leathers, and something I started painting her accordingly but I just wasn’t happy. White is a challenging colour to paint smoothly on a good day, but even though I’ve had plenty of experience with it on my old Menites, it just wasn’t working for me on a character named Black Bella. I contemplated redoing her in black leathers, but then this happened, and I’m much happier with it. In deference to her name, she does have black lipstick.

    One of the characters that is making the journey to Riot Quest Season 2, Bella is one the fastest heroes in Riot Quest. Her base speed of  6 means she moves faster than Helga On Wheels, and her 4/5 defensive stats put her on par with Eiryss and Scythe. 3 Stamina is pretty standard, but her Dueling Bladesroll one action, two boost, and two power dice, making her one of the deadliest melee combatants in the game.

    As a Fighter class hero, she gets Charge as a standard, adding an extra power die to her attacks. If an opponent tries to run away from her blades, Dirty Fighterlets her roll a power die for bonus damage as she stabs them in the keister. Should they choose to stand and fight, Side Step means if they miss, she gets to reposition. All in all, she’s very stabby and highly mobile.

    Now, should you pick up Black Bella as a mercenary for Warmachine – and yes, she does play for the Protectorate – 4pts gets you a MAT 7 Weapon Master with sword and dagger attacks, DEF 17 in melee thanks to Duelist, she can murder her way through a unit like the Whitemane used to thanks to Killing SpreeRipostewill let her utter a pointy rejoinder should someone try to hit her, and just for fun she’s functionally MAT 9 on a charge with her sword thanks to Brutal Charge.

    I’m now picturing Bella and a pair of Allegiants of the Order of the Fist running down a flank toward an opposing flag…

    Black Bella, Duchess of Dread, is available from your FLGS or preferred online retailer. Whether you’d like to stab opposing looters in Ironhead Fortress or to add her to your ranks on the tabletop, if you’ve got the coin, she’s got the blades.


  • We all watched Privateer’s Keynote, right?

    Were you online when we were graced with the digital presences of Will “I collect honey!” Hungerford and Oz “I am not a monster!” Schoonover, delivering the 2020 Keynote? We’re on the cusp of Warcaster, we’re in the aftermath of Oblivion, we’ve seen the coming of Gallamaxus as new friends and foes join the Monsterpocalypse, and of course, the Keynote – our sneak peek into Privateer’s plans for the coming year – had a few surprises for us as well.

    You can watch the Keynote here:

    Some neat things to note:

    Iron Kingdoms: Requiem

    The Iron Kingdoms RPG, reborn using the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edtion ruleset. I love me some classic IKRPG, but bringing the setting fully into 5e compatibility means potentially opening up the setting we love to a much wider audience, and with Matt Goetz – hands down one of my favourite writers/designers in the RPG industry – working on the project, I am very keen to see Requiem in my grubby little hands.

    Bear in mind also, this will be a huge insight into the world of the Iron Kingdoms after the Infernal invasion. The events of Oblivion and the Hengehold Scroll were a major upheaval for Western Immoren, and we’ve all had a lot of questions as to the state of the world, and the fates of those left behind after the Cyriss gate closed. If the amount of lore and background for the setting in Requiem is anywhere near the quality that we got with IKRPG Full Metal Fantasy and IKRPG Kings, Nations and Gods (and of course, IK Unleashed) then we’re in for a hell of a treat.

    Minicrate

    Our primary source of alternate sculpts and concept reinventions, Minicrate has been putting out some excellent alternates through its subscription service. Some sign up for the six month stretch and get the VIP bonus model, others cherry pick the models that appeal most. The Keynote has given us a peek at 6 of the next year’s models, but of those shown in the video I think my personal favourites are Winter Watch (alt Pyg Lookout on a Polar Bear cub) and Fiona from the Black Lagoon (alt Fiona the Black as a mermaid).

    I mean, there were no Menites in the list, but that doesn’t mean a few others won’t find a potential home in the Gdaycave…

    Monsterpocalypse

    The Draken Armada are coming in full force, with three new monsters and six new units – but we’ve known that these guys were incoming for awhile (even if we had no idea about Gausamal). What caught my eye was the Zerkalo Bloc, a cold war era style heavy metal foe from an alternate Earth. When I watched Pacific Rim, Cherno-1 was my favourite Jaeger aesthetically, so the concept renders definitely caught my eye.

    On top of that we have the announcement of the Legion of Mutates – Anthropomorphic animals, including elephant men with rocket launchers – and the Masters of the 8th Dimension – geometric beings that defy physics and our understanding of biology. Now, I’m a commited Destroyers player, so I’ll pout a little that the Mutates are Protectors, but those Zerkalo’s will look awfully nice marching alongside my Mollocks…

    Warcaster

    The Keynote has announced the fourth faction for Warcaster, the first non-human faction – The Empyreans. The ancient alien masters of the Hyperanuion, they’ll follow the standard templating of the other factions – Solos, Units, Light and Heavy Warjacks – but the similarities largely end there. Armored carapaces with bonus tentacles, some of the Empyrean models don’t even bother with such gauche mundanities as legs and arms.

    Humanity will be receiving some new toys as well, with the coming year’s wave introducing vehicles – the Razorbat (Marcher Worlds), Interceptor (Iron Star Alliance), Scythe (Aeturnus Continuum) and the Zenith (bringing the Empyreans in line). Each will have weapon hardpoints that welcome different armaments, much as the warjacks do. They also look super cool.

    Warmachine & Hordes

    With such a strong focus on Warmachine leading up to and through the Infernal invasion, it’s time for Hordes to get some love. We saw a bunch of new models for the Legion of Everblight and the Trollbloodsm, as well as some merc/minion models such as the Death Archon. The Grymkin will also receive some new models, including the blasphemous Defiled Archon, and Isiah the Dread Harvester, their pumpkin-headed dragoon who can turn his own victims into Dread Rots.

    While Hordes factions will be enjoying a little time in the limelight, Warmachine won’t be completely ignored, with the Retribution of Scyrah expanding into House Ellowuyr. Thyron and his Swordsmen have reinforcements incoming. The Crucible Guard will also receive new models, including Major Aline Benett, a Rocketman Warcaster.

    Riot Quest

    Riot Quest is entering its second season, with the Wintertime Wasteland kickstarter live as we speak. A new map, a new block of looters, all of which will be compatible with both Warmachine and Hordes, including the baby Gorax. Maybe he’ll be a companion model for the new Boomhowler? Pure speculation on my part of course. The core set gives us a new melee-centric Boomhowler, a new Black Bella, a post apocalyptic Yuri the Hunter, the Nyss sorceress Yssylla, the aforementioned baby Gorax, Shivers.

    The new edition Riot Quest will add a slew of new heroes, including the first dual hero, Dez (from the Mayhem block) with Gubbin (also from the Mayhem block) loaded into a mortar. The Man-o-War Bulkhead will add some serious armor plating, while Bumbles the bear is adorably lethal. Major Benett – the Rocketman Warcaster mentioned earlier – will also be released as a Riot Quest model. For Kickstarter exclusives, alternate sculpts of some of the original Mayhem heroes will be available.

     

    While there’s no new Menites in the immediate winds, I can acknowledge that other players need new toys too, and I can appreciate the novelty of having more things to set on fire with Feora the Forsaken. Also, gimme two of those Interceptors ASAP…


  • RQ: Feora the Forsaken and the Four Horseymans

    On the one hand we have arguably the most ambitious woman in the Iron Kingdoms, having spent years rising to be one of the most powerful and influential individuals in the hierarchy of the Protectorate of Menoth, only to find her schemes torn asunder as the Iron Kingdoms fell apart during the Infernal invasion. On the other, we have four gremlins with macabre hobby horses, representing the riders of the apocalypse and generally causing havoc. Feora the Forsaken and The Four Horseymans are here to join your games of Riot Quest and Warmachine/Hordes.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20593


  • WMH: Resolute Souls… the Legion and the Order

    As the Infernal invasion causes dramatic upheavals on pretty much every level for the nations of Caen, the best and the worst are brought out of people, weird alliances are forged, and the strangest of bedfellows unite on the battlefield to challenge a common enemy that threatens the future of all humanity. And Iosity, Rhulity, BogTroggity, Trollkinity, so on and so forth. Today we’re opening up some undead avengers, raised by the power of the Witchblade, and Morrow’s magnificent ghost-busting man-o-war…

    The Legion of Lost Souls, and the Order of Illumination Resolutes.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20593


  • Glyn Cormier, Morrowan Battle Priest and the Thamarite Advocate

    Three Humans walk into a bar… promptly declare the entire place to be tainted by Infernals, and burn it to the ground.  Well, that was a quick story, what shall we talk about now? Oh, fine, we’ll talk about the actual three models in question. As the Infernal invasion ravages the Iron Kingdoms, the militant arms of the faiths of the Iron Kingdoms are mobilizing in full, with priests and demon hunters casting aside their age-old enmity with the followers of Thamar, in the interest of, oh, I dunno, the survival of humanity as a whole. It’s a thing. There may be a lesson there for all of us…

    First up, the Morrowan Battle Priest and Glyn Cormier.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20593